Sunday, 19 April 2009

Good Morning at West Hartford

I couldn’t sleep this morning so I got up early and went to West Hartford. On the way there I was checking the trees around the end of Horton Burn when I finally saw what has become a Bogey Bird for me, Blackcap – Lifer.
I don’t know how but I always seem to miss them, well not any more, it flew into another tree and joined another male, they soon flew off out of sight.
The water level is even lower than the last time I was at West Hartford but still only the usual gulls, Oystercatchers, 6 Moorhen and Lapwing were on the exposed mud.
Part of the huge Linnet flock landed on the shore and drank before settling in the dead trees.
I decided to have a look around the fields and woodland bordering West Hartford today, (somewhere I don’t explore enough).
I went past the smaller pool and as I was walking through the fields, I flushed what looked like a Warbler.
It landed only a meter or so away in the long grass so I went after it. It then climbed up a piece of long grass and I could see that it was a Grasshopper Warbler – Lifer!
It had a longer tail, and heavy streaking on its body with grey diamond shapes on its back.
It stood on the grass watching me for around five minutes not making a sound, are they usually this tame?
If I had put out my hand I think it would have jumped on, it then moved back into the grass so I left it in peace.
As I got to the woodland I could hear it reeling from the field and I realised how it got its name.
Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, GS Woodpecker and Jays were all calling in the woods, I would have explored further put the sound of dogs barking and a Deer Skull mounted on a tree kind of put me off.
As I walked back towards the pools two Stonechats started calling to each other on the fence posts.
The peace was soon shattered when dog walkers and arseholes on dirt bikes started appearing.

87 – Blackcap

88 – Grasshopper Warbler


Birding Sometimes said...

Good trip to WH CB!

tony020608 said...

i often have a look in at West Harford..saw my first SEO last week it possible to walk right across to the woodland i thought it was fenced off

Alan Tilmouth said...

There seems to have been quite an arrival of Blackcap this morning. I had two males at Woodhorn and another singing ten yards from the front door when I got home.

Crammy Birder said...

Technically its out of bounds but the dodgy fencing makes it easy to get over. I have never seen anybody guarding it before, just watch out for hunters.